Poster Encouraging Boycott of German Goods, 1934
This 1934 poster encourages Jews living in Israel to boycott German products due to the violent anti-Jewish measures in Nazi Germany. The cartoon on the right shows Israelis happily purchasing German-made goods; the cartoon on the right shows what was happening in Germany at the same time, namely, the beatings and forced closures of Jewish businesses.
At the time, Jews in Germany were just starting to feel the pressure of the Nazi party’s anti-Jewish measures. The first wave of legislation was aimed at limiting Jewish participation in public life, and laws passed in 1933 excluded Jewish and “politically unreliable” civil servants and employees from state service. The number of Jewish students at German schools and universities was also restricted by these laws, and further legislation soon excluded Jews from the medical and legal professions.
Following Hitler’s rise to power, the Jewish world had agreed to a ban on German goods, and Jews were pressurizing other businesses around the world to stop stocking German items. There was similar pressure to implement this ban in Palestine.
Anti-Jewish legislation in pre-war Germany, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
This resource could be used in History lessons to discuss both the situation in Germany in the years immediately preceding the Holocaust and attitudes and awareness in Israel regarding what was going on in Europe.
Media and Art teachers could use this resource to discuss ways in which art, in particular cartoons can be used to protest against injustice.
Civics teacher could discuss the effectiveness of boycotts, using examples such as boycotts against South Africa during the apartheid era or the contemporary BDS movement’s actions against Israel.
When was the poster printed and where?
What is written on the poster?
What do the two pictures depict?
Who was the poster addressing?
Reading Between the Lines
The poster portrays life in Israel and in Germany.
What was the situation for Jews in Germany at the time?
What was the situation for Jews in Israel at the time?
Why does the poster show two images rather than just one?
What message is the poster conveying?
How effective is the cartoonist in conveying this message?
If you were living in Israel in 1934, do you think that such a poster would have convinced you not to purchase German goods?
Are there any modern countries which are being subjected to an economic boycott?
Is the situation comparable to the situation portrayed in this cartoon?
Create another poster, calling upon people in the 1930’s and 1940’s to boycott German products.
Compare the effectiveness of boycotts against countries in the form of a table or interactive presentation.
For younger students, it may be appropriate to take one country and investigate to what extent sanctions were effective. In the case of South Africa, there were a number of boycotts: economic, trade, cultural, and sport. How effective were each of these?
The title reads: “And you are still buying German products?” The text above the right-hand picture reads: “Here in the Land of Israel” and above the left-hand picture:“ ...and the situation in Germany....”